Putin dropped a bombshell about corrupt magnate, Bill Browder giving $400 million to the Clinton campaign.
Here is background on who Browder is.
He is the darling of the russophobic western media and has even been interviewed on Radio NZ (see below).
Read the very good article by the late Robert Parry
The following documentary that was aired on Russian TV has been practically disappeared from the internet and is difficult to find.
Bill Browder is THE central figure behind Russophobia
Russian TV: Bill Browder is CIA agent, recruited Navalny. Browder furious! Navalny sues!
This documentary caused an uproar in Russia when it appeared in April of 2016.
This film was made by the main Russian government news broadcasting company, Rossiya 1.
It alleges that Bill Browder, the legendary American hedge fund manager who from 1995 - 2005 was the largest foreign investor in Russia, controlling billions of $ and a significant share of Russia’s leading companies, was in fact a CIA front.
At one point his funds owned 7% of Gazprom, using what the film argues were illegal schemes to acquire shares
The film argues that Browder’s whole involvement with Russia was a CIA operation to disrupt Russia politically and economically
It alleges that in 2006, Browder was instructed by the CIA to provide financial support to the rising opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, and that the two then closely cooperated for the next 5 years.
As evidence, the film cites hacked CIA email and skype correspondence which it claims fell into Russian hands during the government upheaval in Kiev in 2014.
When the film appeared, Browder and Navalny charged that the evidence was faked, and Navalny sued Rossiya 1 for libel. As of the translation of this video, (July 2016), the suit has not been concluded.
Browder was expelled from Russia in 2006, after which he led a highly successful public campaign criticizing Russia and Putin. The film argues that the campaign was financed by the CIA.
The campaign demanded sanctions against Russia for what Browder alleged was the murder of one of his employees, Sergei Magnitsky, and theft from his companies, by corrupt Russian officials.
His campaign resulted in the famous “Magnitsky Act” sanctions against Russia, passed by Congress in 2012.
The film alleges that this cynically misrepresents the facts. It alleges that Magnitsky ended up in jail for carrying out major fraud for Browder, and that he was on the verge of testifying against Browder when he died. It cites the hacked CIA mail as evidence that the CIA managed to orchestrate Magnitsky’s death in prison.
The film argues that the only people with a motive for Magnitsky’s death were Browder and the CIA, because his testimony about the tax fraud would have been devastating.
The film includes embarrassing details of tax avoidance schemes used by Browder and Magnitsky, including hiring barely literate invalids in remote corners of Russia as fake executives in order to receive tax breaks amounting to 100s of millions of $.
The film then alleges, again citing the hacked CIA correspondence, that in 2010 Browder paid Navalny $300,000 to conduct a PR campaign in Russia in support of the Magnitsky Act.
This documentary was never aired separately, rather appeared as a segment within the April 13, 2016 episode of the popular Russian political talk show “Spetsialnii Korrespondent” youtube.com/channel/UCAkt...
The episode consisted of an emotional 1.5 hour discussion of the film, with several people who appeared in the film present youtube.com/watch?v=37GZ3... (only in Russian)
Of the 10-plus guests, all but one, an American journalist, argued heatedly that Browder had clearly committed gross financial crimes and agreed with the film.
The comment leading into the beginning of the film is typical of the tone of the talk show, where the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s parliament compares Browder to an “intestinal tapeworm”.
At the conclusion of the film, the talk show guests discussed the film for a further 1.5 hours. About half of the guests were also featured in the film, and they were able to go into much more detail about their knowledge of the Browder case.
The discussion became very emotional, with some guests shouting about what they alleged are Browder’s crimes.
Robert Parry goes into the story of the Magnitsky Act and how the authorities in the West do not want the truth to be known
This is an example of MAJOR censorship in the West. I have looked for this film on-line
It has been truly DISAPPEARED for all intents and purposes.
A Blacklisted Film and the New Cold War
Special Report: As Congress still swoons over the anti-Kremlin Magnitsky narrative, Western political and media leaders refuse to let their people view a documentary that debunks the fable, reports Robert Parry
2 August, 2017
Why is the U.S. mainstream media so frightened of a documentary that debunks the beloved story of how “lawyer” Sergei Magnitsky uncovered massive Russian government corruption and died as a result? If the documentary is as flawed as its critics claim, why won’t they let it be shown to the American public, then lay out its supposed errors, and use it as a case study of how such fakery works?
Instead we – in the land of the free, home of the brave – are protected from seeing this documentary produced by filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov who was known as a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin but who in this instance found the West’s widely accepted Magnitsky storyline to be a fraud.
Instead, last week, Senate Judiciary Committee members sat in rapt attention as hedge-fund operator William Browder wowed them with a reprise of his Magnitsky tale and suggested that people who have challenged the narrative and those who dared air the documentary one time at Washington’s Newseum last year should be prosecuted for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
It appears that Official Washington’s anti-Russia hysteria has reached such proportions that old-time notions about hearing both sides of a story or testing out truth in the marketplace of ideas must be cast aside. The new political/media paradigm is to shield the American people from information that contradicts the prevailing narratives, all the better to get them to line up behind Those Who Know Best.
But the Magnitsky myth has a special place as the seminal fabrication of the dangerous New Cold War between the nuclear-armed West and nuclear-armed Russia.
In the United States, Russia-bashing in The New York Times and other “liberal media” also has merged with the visceral hatred of President Trump, causing all normal journalistic standards to be jettisoned.
A Call for Prosecutions
Browder testified: “As part of [Russian lawyer Natalie] Veselnitskaya’s lobbying, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Group, was hired to organize the Washington, D.C.-based premiere of a fake documentary about Sergei Magnitsky and myself. This was one the best examples of Putin’s propaganda.
“They hired Howard Schweitzer of Cozzen O’Connor Public Strategies and former Congressman Ronald Dellums to lobby members of Congress on Capitol Hill to repeal the Magnitsky Act and to remove Sergei’s name from the Global Magnitsky bill. On June 13, 2016, they funded a major event at the Newseum to show their fake documentary, inviting representatives of Congress and the State Department to attend.
“While they were conducting these operations in Washington, D.C., at no time did they indicate that they were acting on behalf of Russian government interests, nor did they file disclosures under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. United States law is very explicit that those acting on behalf of foreign governments and their interests must register under FARA so that there is transparency about their interests and their motives.
“Since none of these people registered, my firm wrote to the Department of Justice in July 2016 and presented the facts. I hope that my story will help you understand the methods of Russian operatives in Washington and how they use U.S. enablers to achieve major foreign policy goals without disclosing those interests.”
While he loosely accused a number of Americans of felonies, Browder continued to claim that Magnitsky was a crusading “lawyer” who uncovered a $230 million tax-fraud scheme carried out ostensibly by Browder’s companies but, which, according to Browder’s account, was really engineered by corrupt Russian police officers who then arrested Magnitsky and later were responsible for his death in a Russian jail.
Browder’s narrative has received a credulous hearing by Western politicians and media already inclined to think the worst of Putin’s Russia and willing to treat Browder’s claims as true without serious examination. However, beyond the self-serving nature of Browder’s tale, there are many holes in the story, including whether Magnitsky was really a principled lawyer or instead a complicit accountant.
Nevertheless, the West’s mainstream media – relying on the word of Browder – has accepted Magnitsky’s standing as a “lawyer,” which apparently fits better in the narrative of Magnitsky as a crusading corruption fighter rather than a potential co-conspirator with Browder in a complex fraud, as the Russian government has alleged.
Magnitsky’s mother also has described her son as an accountant, although telling Nekrasov in the documentary “he wasn’t just an accountant; he was interested in lots of things.” In the film, the “lawyer” claim is also disputed by a female co-worker who knew Magnitsky well. “He wasn’t a lawyer,” she said.
In other words, on this high-profile claim repeated by Browder again and again, it appears that presenting Magnitsky as a “lawyer” is a convenient falsehood that buttresses the Magnitsky myth, which Browder constructed after Magnitsky’s death from heart failure while in pre-trial detention.
But the Magnitsky myth took off in 2012 when Browder sold his tale to neocon Senators Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, and John McCain, R-Arizona, who threw their political weight behind a bipartisan drive in Congress leading to the passage of the Magnitsky sanctions act, the opening shot in the New Cold War.
A Planned Docudrama
Browder’s dramatic story also attracted the attention of Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, a well-known critic of Putin from previous films. Nekrasov set out to produce a docudrama that would share Browder’s good-vs.-evil narrative to a wider public.
Nekrasov devotes the first half hour of the film to allowing Browder to give his Magnitsky account illustrated by scenes from Nekrasov’s planned docudrama. In other words, the viewer gets to see a highly sympathetic portrayal of Browder and Magnitsky as supposedly corrupt Russian authorities bring charges of tax fraud against them.
Nekrasov also discovered that a woman who had worked in Browder’s company blew the whistle before Magnitsky talked to police and that Magnitsky’s original interview with authorities was as a suspect, not a whistleblower. Also contradicting Browder’s claims, Nekrasov notes that Magnitsky doesn’t even mention the names of the police officers in a key statement to authorities.
When one of the Browder-accused police officers, Pavel Karpov, filed a libel suit against Browder in London, the case was dismissed on technical grounds because Karpov had no reputation in Great Britain to slander. But the judge seemed sympathetic to the substance of Karpov’s complaint.
Browder claimed vindication before adding an ironic protest given his successful campaign to prevent Americans and Europeans from seeing Nekrasov’s documentary
“These people tried to shut us up; they tried to stifle our freedom of expression,” Browder complained. “[Karpov] had the audacity to come here and sue us, paying high-priced libel lawyers to come and terrorize us in the U.K.”
The ‘Kremlin Stooge’ Slur
The article by Katie Zavadski accuses Nekrasov of being in the tank for the Kremlin and declares that “The movie is so flattering to the Russian narrative that Pavel Karpov — one of the police officers accused of being responsible for Magnitsky’s death — plays himself.”
But that’s not true. In fact, there is a scene in the documentary in which Nekrasov invites the actor who plays Karpov in the docudrama segment to sit in on an interview with the real Karpov. There’s even a clumsy moment when the actor and police officer bump into a microphone as they shake hands, but Zavadski’s falsehood would not be apparent unless you had somehow gotten access to the documentary, which has been effectively banned in the West.
In the documentary, Karpov, the police officer, accuses Browder of lying about him and specifically contests the claim that he (Karpov) used his supposedly ill-gotten gains to buy an expensive apartment in Moscow. Karpov came to the interview with documents showing that the flat was pre-paid in 2004-05, well before the alleged hijacking of Browder’s firms.
Karpov added wistfully that he had to sell the apartment to pay for his failed legal challenge in London, which he said he undertook in an effort to clear his name. “Honor costs a lot sometimes,” the police officer said.
Karpov also explained that the investigations of Browder’s tax fraud started well before the Magnitsky controversy, with an examination of a Browder company in 2004.
“Once we opened the investigation, a campaign in defense of an investor started,” Karpov said. “Having made billions here, Browder forgot to tell how he did it. So it suits him to pose as a victim. … Browder and company are lying blatantly and constantly.”
However, since virtually no one in the West has seen this interview, you can’t make your own judgment as to whether Karpov is credible or not.
A Painful Recognition
Yet, in reviewing the case documents and noting Browder’s inaccurate claims about the chronology, Nekrasov finds his own doubts growing. He discovers that European officials simply accepted Browder’s translations of Russian documents, rather than checking them independently. A similar lack of skepticism prevailed in the United States.
In other words, a kind of trans-Atlantic groupthink took hold with clear political benefits for those who went along and almost no one willing to risk the accusation of being a “Kremlin stooge” by showing doubt.
As the documentary proceeds, Browder starts avoiding Nekrasov and his more pointed questions. Finally, Nekrasov hesitantly confronts the hedge-fund executive at a party for Browder’s book, Red Notice, about the Magnitsky case.
The easygoing Browder of the early part of the documentary — as he lays out his seamless narrative without challenge — is gone; instead, a defensive and angry Browder appears.
“It’s bullshit,” Browder says when told that his presentations of the documents are false.
But Nekrasov continues to find more contradictions and discrepancies. He discovers evidence that Browder’s web site eliminated an earlier chronology that showed that in April 2008, a 70-year-old woman named Rimma Starova, who had served as a figurehead executive for Browder’s companies, reported the theft of state funds.
Nekrasov then shows how Browder’s narrative was changed to introduce Magnitsky as the whistleblower months later, although he was then described as an “analyst,” not yet a “lawyer.”
As Browder’s story continues to unravel, the evidence suggests that Magnitsky was an accountant implicated in manipulating the books, not a crusading lawyer risking everything for the truth.
A Heated Confrontation
In the documentary, Nekrasov struggles with what to do next, given Browder’s financial and political clout. Finally securing another interview, Nekrasov confronts Browder with the core contradictions of his story. Incensed, the hedge-fund executive rises up and threatens the filmmaker.
“I’d be very careful going out and trying to do a whole sort of thing about Sergei [Magnitsky] not being the whistleblower, it won’t do well for your credibility on this show,” Browder said. “This is sort of the subtle FSB version,” suggesting that Nekrasov was just fronting for the Russian intelligence service.
But that phrasing is not what he actually says in the documentary, raising further questions about whether the Daily Beast reporter actually watched the film or simply accepted Browder’s account of it. (I posed that question to the Daily Beast’s Katie Zavadski by email, but have not gotten a reply.)
The documentary also includes devastating scenes from depositions of a sullen and uncooperative Browder and a U.S. government investigator, who acknowledges relying on Browder’s narrative and documents in a related case against Russian businesses.
In an April 15, 2015 deposition of Browder, he, in turn, describes relying on reports from journalists to “connect the dots,” including the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which is funded by the U.S. government and financial speculator George Soros. Browder said the reporters “worked with our team.”
While taking money from the U.S. Agency for International Development and Soros, the OCCRP also targeted Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych with accusations of corruption prior to the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that ousted Yanukovych, an overthrow that was supported by the U.S. State Department and escalated the New Cold War with Russia.
OCCRP played a key role, too, in the so-called Panama Papers, purloined documents from a Panamanian law firm that were used to develop attack lines against Russian President Vladimir Putin although his name never appeared in the documents.
After examining the money-movement charts published by OCCRP about the Magnitsky case, Nekrasov notes that the figures don’t add up and wonders how journalists could “peddle these wooly maths.” He also observed that OCCRP’s Panama Papers linkage of Magnitsky’s $230 million fraud and payments to an ally of Putin made no sense because the dates of the Panama Papers transactions preceded the dates of the alleged Magnitsky fraud.
The Power of Myth
Nekrasov suggests that the power of Browder’s convoluted story rested, in part, on a Hollywood perception of Moscow as a place where evil Russians lurk around every corner and any allegation against “corrupt” officials is believed. The Magnitsky tale “was like a film script about Russia written for the Western audience,” Nekrasov says.
But the Browder’s narrative also served a strong geopolitical interest to demonize Russia at the dawn of the New Cold War.
In the documentary’s conclusion, Nekrasov sums up what he had discovered: “A murdered hero as an alibi for living suspects.” He then ponders the danger to democracy: “So do we allow graft and greed to hide behind a political sermon? Will democracy survive if human rights — its moral high ground — is used to protect selfish interests?”
But Americans and Europeans are being spared the discomfort of having to answer that question or to question their representatives about the failure to skeptically examine this case that has pushed the planet on a course toward a possible nuclear war.
Instead, the mainstream Western media has hurled insults at Nekrasov even as his documentary is blocked from any significant public viewing.
Despite Browder’s professed concern about the London libel case that he claimed was an attempt “to stifle our freedom of expression,” he has sicced his lawyers on anyone who might be thinking about showing Nekrasov’s documentary to the public.
The documentary was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016, but at the last moment – faced with Browder’s legal threats – the parliamentarians pulled the plug. Nekrasov encountered similar resistance in the United States. There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Instead a room was rented at the Newseum near Capitol Hill.
Browder’s lawyers then tried to strong arm the Newseum, but its officials responded that they were only renting out a room and that they had allowed other controversial presentations in the past.
“We’re not going to allow them not to show the film,” said Scott Williams, the Newseum’s chief operating officer. “We often have people renting for events that other people would love not to have happen.”
So, Nekrasov’s documentary got a one-time showing with a follow-up discussion moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. However, except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary’s discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War.
Instead, the Post accused Nekrasov of using “facts highly selectively” and insinuated that he was merely a pawn in the Kremlin’s “campaign to discredit Mr. Browder and the Magnitsky Act.”
Like the recent Daily Beast story, which falsely claimed that Nekrasov let the Russian police officer Karpov play himself, the Post misrepresented the structure of the film by noting that it mixed fictional scenes with real-life interviews and action, a point that was technically true but willfully misleading because the fictional scenes were from Nekrasov’s original idea for a docudrama that he shows as part of explaining his evolution from a believer in Browder’s self-exculpatory story to a skeptic.
But the Post’s deception – like the Daily Beast’s falsehood – is something that almost no American would realize because almost no one has gotten to see the ilm.
The Post’s editorial gloated: “The film won’t grab a wide audience, but it offers yet another example of the Kremlin’s increasingly sophisticated efforts to spread its illiberal values and mind-set abroad. In the European Parliament and on French and German television networks, showings were put off recently after questions were raised about the accuracy of the film, including by Magnitsky’s family.
“We don’t worry that Mr. Nekrasov’s film was screened here, in an open society. But it is important that such slick spin be fully exposed for its twisted story and sly deceptions.”
It is also unlikely that Americans and Europeans will get a chance to view this blacklisted documentary in the future. In an email exchange, the film’s Norwegian producer Torstein Grude told me that “We have been unsuccessful in releasing the film to TV so far. ZDF/Arte [a major European network] pulled it from transmission a few days before it was supposed to be aired and the other broadcasters seem scared as a result. Netflix has declined to take it. …
“The film has no other release at the moment. Distributors are scared by Browder’s legal threats. All involved financiers, distributors, producers received thick stacks of legal documents (300+ pages) threatening lawsuits should the film be released.” [Grude sent me a special password so I could view the documentary on Vimeo.]
So much for the West’s vaunted belief in freedom of expression and the democratic goal of encouraging freewheeling debates about issues of great public importance. And, so much for the Post’s empty rhetoric about our “open society.”
Radio NZ joins the worst of the agents of disinformation with this interview with Bill Browder who, they fail to mention, is wanted in Russia for the embezzlement of billions of rouble: he is simply portrateyd as an “enemy of Putin”.
9 March, 2018
Bill Browder, who has been described as Vladimir Putin's number one enemy, says the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in England was an act of terrorism by Russia.
Mr Browder was an American-born finance executive in Russia who was refused entry to the country in 2005 as a threat to national security.
He claimed it was because he and his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky had exposed corruption in the country.
Mr Magnitsky died while being held in prison in Russia. In a posthumous case against the lawyer, Mr Browder was indicted and tried in absentia. He was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Mr Browder told Morning Report Mr Skripal's poisoning fitted the Russian government's modus operandi, with strong similarities to the 2006 death of Alexander Litvinenko, a defector and former officer of the Russian FSB secret service who died from radiation poisoning in London.
Mr Skripal and his daughter are both in critical condition after a chemical attack on them in England. Mr Skripal had been a Russian spy before defecting to England and working with MI6.
"This is a man considered to be a traitor to security services in Russia; nerve agent can only be produced by a government; what else could it be but a Russian hit in the UK?" Mr Browder told Morning Report.
Mr Browder said the killing of Mr Litvinenko and lack of serious repercussions had created an environment where Mr Putin and the Russian government felt they could get away with these kinds of attacks.
"I don't think Putin really cared one way or another about this individual, but he cares very profoundly about all the other people around him who are less and less loyal to him because the money is drying up in Russia," he said.
"I've been doing this for a long time now" - Bill Browder duration 7′ :30″ from Morning Report
"I've been doing this for a long time now" - Bill Browder
"People are starting to privately grumble and Putin's way of dealing with that is to terrorise them.
"He's sent the most powerful message to everybody around him that if you even think about doing something which is disloyal, terrible things will not just happen to you, they will happen to your family."
Mr Browder said Russia wanted legal deniability but was winking and nudging about the attack.
"They got caught last time when they did the same type of thing with nuclear materials with Litvinenko. They were very happy because there were no consequences."
As an enemy of the Russian government, Mr Browder said he was at risk of a similar attack and had already faced death threats, kidnapping threats and extradition threats.
However, he says he was not living in fear.
"I continue to live with a clean, balanced psychology because if I lived in fear they would have already achieved their objective and I'm not going to let them do that."
Mr Browder said he could not describe the types of precautions he takes in his own life as it would provide the Russian government with too much information.